Wednesday, July 1, 2009

KFC to replace Colonel Sanders icon with image of you?

When KFC issued a press release announcing a search for "a new iconic face for the brand's new Kentucky Grilled Chicken (KGC)," a public outcry began. "Why?," one customer wrote online. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

While KFC confirmed that Colonel Sanders will continue to represent the company he founded and built, the search continues for the ultimate KGC fan, who could potentially appear in future advertising.

Fans of the brand can now visit and vote on whether they'd like Colonel Sanders to be the only icon for the brand, or whether they'd rather see the winner of the KGC Ultimate Fan search be the Colonel's counterpart. Online voting will continue through July 8 and results of the “poultry polls” will be announced shortly thereafter.

If fans think they have what it takes to be named the "Ultimate Kentucky Grilled Chicken fan," they can also visit and see how their faces would look on the brand's bucket. KFC has introduced a "bucketizer" widget that allows fans to upload images and see how they would look on a Kentucky Grilled Chicken bucket. Only two people have ever appeared on a KFC bucket (Colonel Harland Sanders and race driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.).

If fans like the way they look on the bucket, but they feel the need to further channel their inner Colonel, the "bucketizer" widget has a "Colonelize" function, which can add white hair, black glasses, a goatee and even the Colonel's signature white suit to uploaded bucket photos.

The innovative idea encourages both brand interaction and personalization, two of the hottest "must-haves" to effectively engage consumers online. KFC is thinking outside the box -- er, bucket -- indeed.

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